Bio-based circular model for sustainable urban economies, Project visit to Curitiba

Published Jul 25, 2018

ECS representatives travelled to the city of Curitiba, Brazil, during 22-26 June 2018, to meet with project partners and visit institutions and waste management facilities relevant to the project.

Project meeting in Curitiba's Mercado Municipal.

About the cooperation between KTH and the City of Curitiba

Since 2013, KTH and the city of Curitiba, Brazil have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop projects in the areas of mobility, urban planning and environment. The project Bio-based circular model for sustainable urban economies investigates ways to better link urban food production with solid waste management using the city of Curitiba, Brazil, as a starting point.

The project counts with the support of a consortium of Swedish and Brazilian organizations within academia as well as public and private sectors. The project is funded by FORMAS .

Project Visit to Curitiba

Head of the Energy and Climate Studies (ECS) unit, Professor Semida Silveira and PhD candidate Eftychia Ntostoglou travelled to the city of Curitiba, during 22-26 June 2018, to meet with the project partners and visit institutions and waste management facilities relevant to the project.The project meeting took place on 25th June 2018, at the municipal market of Curitiba (Mercado Municipal). The ECS unit met with representatives from four universities of Paraná[1] and the Municipality of Curitiba  who participate in the project. The partners reviewed the project plan and discussed the next steps.

'Catadores' separating recyclable materials in the Lapa municipality.

The visit also included meetings at UTFPR and UFPR, with Professor Semida Silveira giving a lecture on ‘Trandisciplinarity in research’ in the latter.

Furthermore, the ECS representatives visited the municipality of Lapa (located in the wider metropolitan Curitiba area) to explore its waste management system and its potential for further development. Since 2012, the municipal authorities have formed Lapa’s recycling program in cooperation with a local association of waste pickers (known in Brazil as catadores) and private enterprises of the area. The municipality collects the recyclable waste from the assigned collection points all over the city. It then delivers it to the association, where the catadores separate the recyclables by kind. Finally, the enterprises buy the material to recycle it, on a fixed price. The benefits go to the catadores of the association. The rest of the city’s waste is delivered to a sanitary landfill in the outskirts of the municipality, where a limited portion is composted.

Visit of ECS and Brazilian partners to the biogas plant of CS Bioenergia S.A.

Finally, ECS visited the biogas plant of CS Bioenergia S.A., located in the sewage treatment station ETE Belém (ETE-Estação de Tratamento de Esgoto). The plant is designed to treat organic waste together with sewage sludge from the treatment station. The organic waste is first processed in a bio-separator plant. It is then transformed to electricity through anaerobic digestion in a biodigestor, using the sludge.

Due to the current form of legislation, the plant is allowed to treat organic waste solely derived from public cleaning. However, it has the potential to treat waste from other facilities, such as local markets (a major generator of organic waste), and intends to do so in the future.

Returning from Curitiba, the ECS unit recognises considerable opportunities for development of the city’s waste management system and for furthering partnerships with KTH.

[1] The four universities of Paraná participating in the project are:

  1. Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR)
  2. Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR)
  3. Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR)
  4. Universidade Positivo (UP)
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Last changed: Jul 25, 2018